The 1940 Census images have been available for several years now, and have been indexed by a team of volunteers to make locating records a breeze.  Early in the indexing process, just out of curiosity, I tried to locate my four sets of great-grandparents without an index (sometimes, it’s good to remind ourselves what it’s like to do things the hard way). It took me nearly seven hours, but the records were well worth finding. Continue reading

Lame Homework

If you’ve read some of my earlier entries, it shouldn’t be a mystery that I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about maths education. It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I’m happy to talk with just about anyone about the subject. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty emotional topic for a lot of people. Continue reading

Scarecrow Got It Wrong

A few years ago, we were studying the Pythagorean Theorem in my eldest child’s eighth grade maths class. As it happens, I like plane geometry (something my family knows very well) but I still tried to contain my enthusiasm when my wife announced that my assistance was wanted. A worksheet had been sent home with a bunch of right triangles – each with two sides given – and the assignment was to find the remaining side for each. The assignment wasn’t difficult as much as it was boring. The triangles were all of two types: “30/60/90” and “45/45/90,” and my poor kid felt like he was doing the same problem again and again. This was not at all fun, but, as it happens, dad can be counted on to make a boring math lesson at least a little animated, if not exciting. Continue reading

Missing Years …

Despite my best efforts to approach my genealogical research in an organized and efficient manner, there are files I still haven’t sorted through. Many of these contain tangential information that doesn’t really move my research forward as much as deepen my understanding of an individual or the times they lived in. Sometimes, though, one of those files contains a forgotten document or notes from some unfinished search that sets me back on the trail and keeps me up until four in the morning. Documents like a marriage license. Continue reading